At some point in life, most people will experience stress and anxiety in varying amounts. It is important to note that anxiety is not the same as stress. When we experience stress, it is generally due to an external factor such as sitting an exam, being late for work due to traffic issues or having an argument with someone. Feelings of stress generally dissipate after the situation or event.
Anxiety is around feeling apprehension, deep worry or dread in situations when there is no actual threat, and the feelings can continue long after the situation or event has ended. Anxiety can lead to prolonged stress.
Sometimes anxiety can escalate to the point of affecting everyday life, where it becomes incredibly hard to control worry or dread and it becomes a constant unwelcome companion.
There are many types of anxiety and over my next few blogs I will focus on a few different ones, starting with Generalised Anxiety disorder (GAD).
GAD causes you to feel anxious about many different issues and situations rather than 1 specific situation and varies from person to person.
The mind and body can become very disconnected with each one vying for control and not being listened to.
The mind can feel,
Worried all the time,
Unable to concentrate
The body can feel,
An increased heart rate or palpitations,
What causes GAD is still unclear, there are some potential indicators such as,
Our genes so inheriting it, having a history of traumatic events, having a long-term health condition.
But, many people develop GAD for no known reason.
It is a common condition, in any given week in England, 6 in 100 people will be diagnosed with GAD and more women are affected than men. (mental health foundation).
GAD is associated with increased stress levels, those experiencing GAD when asked to look back over several months reported an increase in stressful events, such as divorce, illness, losing a job or workplace stress.
- Practising mindfulness such as my wellbeing walks or yoga nidra.
- Taking time for yourself, perhaps there is a hobby you used to do or revisiting a pastime you really enjoyed that you haven’t done for a while.
- Practice this breathing technique called finger breathing. Using the index finger on one hand, start at the base of your wrist on your other hand and as you breathe in, move your finger up to the tip of your thumb, pause, as you come down the thumb towards your next finger, breathe out, pause, breathe in as you move up your next finger and so on until all 5 fingers have been completed. Repeat as often as is right for you.